I was introduced to the concept of “The Memo” in a screenwriting class with Corey Mandell. (A fantastic series of classes by the way, not for the fly-by-night writer) The Memo is a document of questions that serve as a checklist of sorts.
Example: Q: What is character A’s goal?
You would actually pull out the line of dialogue where the character states their goal and write it in the memo. If you can’t do that, you haven’t made it clear enough.
This was a game-changer for me. Could I have a “memo” or process for EVERYTHING in my life?
Creating Rituals & Workflows
This is not a quick project, but something to think of in the coming months. Can you create a ritual around recurring events that often make you flustered? As an example, here’s my audition ritual:
Once I receive an audition, I:
Confirm appointment with reps
Add appointment to ical, including address
Run Waze to get an estimate of travel time to audion
Schedule that time + 20 mins into calendar
Print sides & resume
Staple resume to photo / highlight sides
Schedule coaching session with audition coach
Research any supporting material (videos, trailers, past episodes, etc.)
Make a cup of coffee and read full script, if available
Read through sides and start answering questions on my Audition Memo (more on that below)
Now I’m off to the races! I do more than this of course, but with these necessary steps out of the way, I’m free to play as much as possible in the time I have. I get all this done in the first few hours of receiving the appointment so it’s not a mad scramble the day of!
The Audition Memo
You’ve spent so much money and time in various classes to hone your craft. Have you ever felt like, when you get an audition, most of it flies out the window? How many times have you left an audition thinking “Doh! I forgot to have a moment before!” or “I wish I had practiced that scene with the CD on the other side of camera – I didn’t even think of that!”
Those lil’ golden nuggets you’ve learned along the way can get lost if you don’t have a ritual to keep track of them.
I have two ways I do this I’d love to share with you.
Microsoft One Note or Evernote
These programs are so sexy, they’ve literally changed my life! I use both in different ways but you can choose your favorite. For our purposes here, I’m focusing on One Note.
I have a notebook in One Note called “Class Notes.” Every acting or writing class I take gets it’s own section in this notebook. I like to further organize by having different “pages” for each session of the class, but this is overkill for most people.
After every class, I take notes of the important skills we covered, instructor feedback on my performance, and nuggets o’ wisdom I picked up. This way, all my info is in one searchable place any time I need it.
I also use this program when reading books that are chock-full of wisdom, tips, & tricks!
I’ve created a Google Doc called Audition Memo. Every time I learn a new skill in class that could help me in an audition, I add it to this list. This makes it super easy to use everything I’ve learned when I get an appointment.
This list is getting super long after years and years of adding to it. I don’t always have time to answer every question before an audition. But at the very least, it’s not because I forgot anything.
Here’s a Checklist To Get You Started!
I’ve taken some of my favorite checklist items and whipped up an Audition Memo Checklist to get you started! But I encourage you to make your own and continue to add to it over the years. My goal is to add more pages to this for you in future posts. So, if that’s something you’d be interested in, please let me know. And if there’s something you think should definitely be on there, holler at me and let me know what I missed.
Do you have any rituals you’d like to share? I’m always looking to up my game and would love to hear what you’ve got!